Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Football Team Slips to 23rd in FIFA Rankings

Russia, which held 19th place before the World Cup, tied South Korea in its opening game after goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev fumbled a direct shot.

After crashing out of the World Cup without a win, Russia's national football team has fallen to 23rd in the FIFA world rankings published on Thursday, its lowest ranking in four years.

Russia, which held 19th place before the World Cup, tied South Korea in its opening game after goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev fumbled a direct shot. The team went on to lose to Belgium — which soared to fifth place after being eliminated in the quarterfinals by tournament finalist Argentina — and to draw with Algeria.

Other teams that have significantly dropped in the FIFA world rankings include Spain, which dropped from first place to eighth, and England, which dropped 10 places to the 20th rank

When Fabio Capello became coach of the squad in July 2012, it was ranked 13th in the world. The Italian national, who was reportedly the highest paid coach at the World Cup, has received harsh criticism from Russian authorities and football circles in response to the team's poor performance.

Russia's all-time best FIFA ranking occurred in April 1996, when the country ranked third after its solid performance in qualifications for the European Championship.

See also:

Blatter Says FIFA to Reassess Stadium Plans for 2018 World Cup in Russia

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.